Salvage Diver

Work as an underwater detective to locate and recover sunken items.
picture of Salvage Diver

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$32,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Salvage Divers do?

Scuba diving is a skill that requires concentration, multitasking, and attention to detail. First, you have to be comfortable breathing air from a tank. Then you constantly make adjustments to the equipment that helps you sink or float. And on top of all that, you have to look at the world around you through the steamy lens of a mask.

Now if you’re a Salvage Diver, you add another item to the list: You also locate and bring back any number of things from the ocean floor.

Actually, it doesn’t have to be the ocean. You don your scuba gear and jump into lakes, rivers, streams, or any other body of water. Before you dive though, you do a lot of planning first. Salvage Divers gather information about the target object, whether it be a ship, a body, a car, or a buried treasure.

This is an important rule of your job. It’s much easier to narrow down the possible locations of, say, a lost wedding ring while your head is still above water. For larger objects, Salvage Divers coordinate heavy equipment and their Operators to help them with the salvage.

Once the Salvage Diver is underwater, they deal with elements like temperature, visibility, possible equipment malfunctions, and diving depths. Each element has its own risks, so you constantly monitor them all.

Sometimes, you use sonar to locate the object, and other times, you bring nothing but your best guess. Depending on your funding, you could make a career out of finding one lost plane, or you could regularly move from one job to another, searching for a variety of things.

Should I be a Salvage Diver?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Deep Sea Diver, Divemaster, Diver, Diver Tender, Dive Supervisor, Scuba Diver, Skin Diver

    How to become a Salvage Diver

    Most Salvage Divers have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:b9aaaa&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%2898%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,98
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